Attiak Sugar Factory in Amuru district has asked the Acholi
Cultural Institution to sensitize the community against destroying sugarcane plantations.
For three years, the factory has been suffering devastative fires,
last year it lost 7,300 acres of already matured sugarcane plantations in
Attiak Sub County.
Abdi Mahmood, the Director of Agriculture and Plantation at the factory says
that the damages on its sugarcane plantation due to the mysterious fires last
year are valued at 33 Billion Shillings.
The factory authorities and the police in the Aswa River Region attribute the
fires to disgruntled members of the community neighbouring the plantation area,
ill intentions, non-payment of the casual workers, and land disputes.
The factory and the sugarcane out-growers associations are now calling on the
Acholi Cultural Institution (Ker Kwaro Acholi) through its structures to create
awareness among the people as well mediate between the aggrieved people and the
Joyce Laker, the Chairperson Attiak Out growers’ Cooperative says that the
persistent fire outbreaks have also affected the payment of its members since
all the sugarcane which were grown were destroyed in the fire and not
She appealed to the Acholi Cultural Institution (Ker Kwaro Acholi) to intervene
and sensitize the people on the importance of the project and also ask them to
desist from setting the sugarcane plantations ablaze in case of any
She added that an engagement between the Chief of Attiak Cultural Institution
where the factory and the sugarcane plantations are located seeking to mediate
the factory as well as the Acholi Cultural Institutions have been made.
Norbert Mao, the Chairperson Gem-Pacilo Sugarcane Out-growers’ association also
pleaded with members of the community and the cultural leadership to embrace
the investment and jealously protect it noting that it is beneficial to the
Acholi community as a whole.
Ambrose Olaa, the Paramount Chief of the Acholi Chiefdom says that the concerns
by the aggrieved community especially over the land ownership, leadership of
the factory, and payment of casual labourers dues were made to their offices
but they could not intervene since authorities of the factory had not directly
He said that they are open to mediate the conflicting parties but did not
disclose when and how they will engage the aggrieved people and the factory
leadership to ensure that the problems are solved.
Currently, the factory ferry cane from Jinja district for the production of
sugar because all its available sugarcane plantations have over the years been
destroyed by fires.
Mahmood says that the factory has a sugarcane crushing capacity of 1,650 tons
daily but due to the challenges, it has only been able to crush 250,764 tons
since it started sugar production in 2020. This means that the factory has only
been able to utilize 42% of its production capacity.
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Attiak Sugar Factory greatly relies on sugarcane which is produced by a team of
4,070 out-growers drawn from Amuru, Gulu, Lamwo and Adjumani district for its
Attiak Sugar Factory is a subsidiary of Horyal Investment Holdings Company
Limited. It was established in 2016 and is owned by Kenyan Businesswoman Dr
The factory covers up to 27,000 acres of land in Attiak Sub County Amuru
district which was leased by the family of John Omaya.
The government, through Uganda Development Corporation, owns a 40 percent stake
in the project even after investing more than Shilling 101 billion.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc